2 rectal cancer surgery procedures lead to similar outcomes in study: 4 things to know

There were no differences in physical activity level, clinical characteristics or comorbid conditions among rectal cancer survivors who underwent either low anterior resection or abdominoperineal resection, according to a study in Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery.

The study comprised 905 rectal cancer survivors who underwent an LAR or APR between 2000 and 2009. Study authors assessed differences in quality of life, health status and physical activity between the groups.

Here are four things to know:

1. Although 94 percent of the APR group underwent radiotherapy treatment compared to 75 percent of the LAR group, there were no differences in clinical characteristics or comorbid conditions between the groups.

2. Study authors found no significant differences in physical activity level between patients who underwent an APR versus an LAR.

3. APR patients reported worse physical and role functioning as well as a worse body image compared to patients who underwent an LAR. However, they reported fewer constipation and gastrointestinal problems.

4. Compared to patients who underwent an LAR with a permanent ostomy, APR patients reported a better body image and less stoma-related problems.

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